2
votes
1answer
101 views

Are there any rules I can follow to make my own derived adjectives from a noun in English? E.g. xenogamy to xenogamic

I'm currently looking through dictionaries (both online and "offline") for an adjective of the word xenogamy. Basically I want to translate the Dutch phrase "De kruibestuivende onderneming". What I ...
2
votes
1answer
95 views

When a person in public life inadvertently coins an expression, what is it called?

It often happens that a political or other figure makes a remark on to which the media fasten. That remark then goes on to become part of the language. Examples were Poindexter's 'plausible ...
4
votes
4answers
173 views

Is there a term for co-opting one word into a secondary, derogatory meaning?

Is there a term for when a word is co-opted and converted into a derogatory variant of the original term? For instance, "OCD" is defined as: Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety ...
4
votes
5answers
690 views

Is there a word for the phrase “I don't know what I don't know”?

In my current job, I'm constantly trying to figure out when the next thing I don't know that I don't know is going to bite me in the butt and cause me to have to rework my code. I've been working on ...
5
votes
3answers
235 views

1000 Day “Anniversary”

"Anniversary" comes from Latin: "anni" [genitive of annus = year] + "vers(us)" [past participle of vertere = to turn]. I am interested in constructing a similar word which means "reoccurring every ...
1
vote
3answers
819 views

Is 'disinstruct' or 'de-instruct' legitimate usage?

When you engage a lawyer or an estate agent, for example, you instruct them. What is the most appropriate word to use when you decide you've had enough and want to get rid of them? There are several ...
1
vote
1answer
139 views

Birth of the word “tonite” and its popularity

Watching an old film dating back in the 1930s, I came across the word tonite, the wrong and more phonetic-like variant of "tonight" (it was written on the advertising poster of a night-club). When ...
4
votes
5answers
217 views

What's the word or name for a person who can naturally & accurately estimate measurements such as size, capacity, ballance & angles?

I'm sure I met someone like this a few years back & they provided me with a single word/name for the "condition". I say condition as the person who this affects automatically, & sometimes to ...
12
votes
6answers
2k views

Opposite word for “cursive”, as related to writing

I looked up the etymology entry at etymonline.com for cursive, which reads: 1784, from French cursif (18c.), from Medieval Latin cursivus “running,” from Latin cursus “a running,” from past ...
2
votes
2answers
710 views

Can we determine a proper verb form of “exegesis” for Biblical scholars to use?

This is related to a conversation here in EL&U SE. Apparently the noun exegete is being used as verb in religious circles. For Biblical Scholars, the word exegesis carries with it a connotation ...
6
votes
3answers
538 views

Words based on the names of gods [closed]

While the word christen means "to baptise" or "to make Christian", in another sense, it has shed its religious connotations to simply mean "to name" or even "use for the first time". Is there any ...
2
votes
1answer
117 views

Not a synonym, but what?

I am looking for a word that describes the relationship between two words that are not the same, are not used in lieu of the other, but are related in what they refer to. Example, storm/monsoon. ...
2
votes
2answers
659 views

Where and when did the negative connotations of “manipulation” appear?

When we think of manipulating objects, we might think of a juggler, magician, chef, etc. When we think of manipulating people, however, it almost always comes with negative connotations. These ...
3
votes
2answers
209 views

Is there a word for the “Origin of Gestures”?

I came across this little nugget of infomation whilst browsing a forum. The English archers were so efficient against French knights that whenever the French captured one, they would cut of two ...
1
vote
0answers
524 views

Are there any words that are spelled the same but have separate etymologies? [closed]

There are many words that are spelled the same but have different meanings due to development of polysemy over time from an original etymology. Are there any word pairs in English that have the same ...
6
votes
3answers
202 views

Closed -> Closure, Open ->?

Am I right in assuming that the word closure is derived from the word closed? If so, I would be interested to know the name of this procedure and what it yields when applied to the word open. My ...
4
votes
2answers
240 views

What is the name of combination, in error, of similar or related words? (E.g.: segueway)

Is there a technical term for combination, in error, of similar or related words? This question is prompted by the following malapropism or solecism, from an article by Elizabeth Montalbano in ...
6
votes
1answer
262 views

Is there a name for adjectives that are based around someone's name?

Some examples would include: Shakespearean Christian Mesmerized Pavlovian Newtonian Boolean Darwinian
2
votes
3answers
6k views

What is a toit?

From the compound word hoity-toity meaning 'thoughtless giddy behaviour', where hoity is the word hoit, meaning 'to behave thoughtlessly and frivolously'. However, I can't seem to find the meaning of ...
8
votes
3answers
427 views

What do I call a word with roots from multiple languages?

As best as I can tell, a good example is sociopath: sociopath — from socio- on model of psychopath socio- — combining form of [Latin] socius pathos — from [Greek] ...
1
vote
5answers
1k views

Is there a term for “midnight” that is like “noon”

"noon" is the term for the middle of the day, round about 12.00 to 13.00, and "midnight" is from 24.00 to 1.00, at night. "midnight" is just basically a prefix added to "night", whereas "noon" is a ...
2
votes
8answers
2k views

That which comes before the “sequel” [closed]

The word "sequel" comes from the the Latin word sequela which means "that which follows" This Latin word is formed of two parts, "sequi" which is "to follow", and a suffix to make it a noun,"-ela". ...
89
votes
10answers
7k views

Is there a word for a person with only one head?

Reading this article by the fantastic Douglas Adams I came across this interesting quote: ‘[I]nteractivity’ is one of those neologisms that Mr Humphrys likes to dangle between a pair of verbal ...
7
votes
4answers
988 views

What did they call illegitimate children in Old English days?

I know that the word bastard in this sense appeard only in 13th century. So what was the normal term before that?
9
votes
5answers
22k views

What is the correct usage of “vis-à-vis”?

I hear people use the term vis-à-vis all the time in place of what I believe should more correctly be for example or that is. What is the most generally accepted correct and appropriate use of ...